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Blankfein Met With SEC’s White Two Days After Money Funds Vote

Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd C. Blankfein
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Chief Executive Officer Lloyd C. Blankfein listens during an interview hosted by Politico in Washington, D.C. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Chief Executive Officer Lloyd C. Blankfein met this month with the top U.S. securities regulator to discuss issues including the Volcker rule and regulations for money-market mutual funds.

Blankfein’s meeting with Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Jo White on June 7, two days after the agency proposed new money-fund rules, was disclosed by the SEC today in a memo posted on its website. The meeting, which included White’s Chief of Staff Lona Nallengara, also touched on proxy advisory firms, according to the memo.

SEC commissioners voted June 5 to propose a floating-share value for the riskiest money funds or allow them to suspend redemptions in times of stress. New York-based Goldman Sachs is the eighth-largest manager of money funds, according to Crane Data LLC.

The bank decided in January to begin disclosing the market-based net asset value of its its money funds that invest in U.S. commercial paper. The SEC’s proposal, which is open for public comment, calls for all money funds to publish that information on a website.

On the Volcker rule, Blankfein said in November that its curbs on proprietary trading and private-equity investments would have a “modest impact” on the firm’s profitability. He said at an event hosted by Politico in Washington yesterday that he hopes that the regulations implementing the rule named for former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker are written in a way that won’t hurt markets.

“The one thing I think is mistaken and frankly hard to deliver, maybe impossible to deliver, is the rules that try to regulate activities based on state of mind,” Blankfein said yesterday. “Buying a security is good if it’s done to make markets, but the second it crosses over from making markets to trying to exploit the value of the position, it’s now a bad thing.”

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